Here I Stand
Lord, on this day I seek You with my whole being. May I hear You speaking to me as I come before You.
Consider: There is a difference between power and authority. The crowd had the power but Jesus had the authority. It was given to him by the Father and by his sense of doing the Father's will.
The contrast between the two consecutive scenes in Gethsemane--the agony of prayer and the subsequent arrest--is striking. The crowd from the high priest meet a Jesus who is calm, clear about his Father's will and not seeking any human or angelic protection. He will not use his relationship with the Father to evade arrest. The swords and clubs are shabby and unnecessary, whether wielded by the arresting party or by a disciple. Judas and his colleagues are met with calm authority. Jesus has faced the implications of his Father's will and renewed his "yes" to it. He knows that this is a scene within a far greater story, laid out in the writings of the prophets and the overall fulfillment of Scripture.
Matthew frequently emphasizes the ways in which Jesus fulfills Scripture. This is not primarily a matter of proof texts. The Old Testament Scriptures are a story without an ending. They are a set of unfulfilled hopes and promises, like tangled bare wires waiting to be safely connected to the mains. Only in Christ does the whole complicated story come together; only in him do all the wires connect properly.
What we see in Jesus is someone utterly committed to the will of the Father, as revealed in Scripture and confirmed in prayer. We see him committed to follow this through for our salvation, irrespective of its cost. His immediate story found its true place in obedience to the greater story of God's love for the world. Through his obedience we have salvation--but in him we also have the model for all discipleship. We too can locate our lives within God's greater plan for the world, irrespective of cost or inconvenience. The disciples ran, but, by the grace given from the cross, we need not.
Place yourself in this scene. Would you have fled like the disciples? Why or why not? In what ways does the reaction of Jesus show what kind of a Messiah he was?
Lord Jesus, I would want to stand firm with You, but I fear I may be more like the disciples who fled. By Your Spirit, empower me to stand strong and true for You.
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